about-us

About us

A hole-in-the wall bistro inspired by the trattorias of Italy, Franco Choo’s offers home-style cooking, interesting wines and warm hospitality in an intimate ambience. We have a simple and changing menu, making the most of fresh seasonal produce and celebrating the best of Italian cuisine. Our cooking reflects authentic flavours, recalling traditional dishes with a few unique and delicious twists. Only a stroll away from Chapel Street, Prahran, the bistro offers diners an escape from the hustle and bustle to experience the feeling of being in someone’s private dining room.

Franco Choo’s homely dining space is the perfect backdrop for honest food and attentive service.

S teven Choo, Owner and Chef Steven is passionate about sharing his love of Italian food. Having lived in Australia, Malaysia and Europe, his culinary experience is broad and his dishes have been inspired by his travels through Italy, Spain, Portugal, France and England.

Steven has worked in a number of renowned restaurants including the George Street Bistro (Fremantle), the Grand Hotel Dining Room (Richmond), Alevansi (Toorak) and the Il Pagliaccio (Rome).


food-drinks

Food & Drinks

O ur simple blackboard menu at Franco Choo’s offers honest Italian food which respects ingredients and avoids fussiness, yet often yields something unexpected. The menu is written up with a small but varied selection of entrees, mains, desserts and side dishes. It changes on the whole monthly but may be updated to suit market availability.

We also look after vegetarians and can accommodate most dietary requirements with some notice. Because our menu is small it is best to give us a call to discuss your preferences when you are making a booking.

menu
New menu for September incoming next week

AUGUST MENU

  • Spaghetti alla bottarga, cured Sardinian mullet roe, pine nuts, sultanas, anchovy, pangrattato 17
  • Vialone nano risotto, red apple, walnuts, radicchio, gorgonzola (v, gf) 16
  • Roasted heirloom carrots, black barley, carrot puree, baked ricotta, vincotto (gf) 16
  • Wet-roasted free range cornfed chicken leg, porcini, Swiss Brown mushrooms, cannellini beans (gf) 28
  • Slow-cooked Gippsland lamb shoulder, Borettane onion, celeriac cream, gremolata (gf) 30
  • Vegetarian main: Risotto as per entree, main size 25
  • Millefoglie, butter puff pastry, chocolate custard, rhubarb in vin brule 14
  • Roasted pistachio praline semifreddo, almond torta, saffron pear 14

(v) (gf) Vegetarian and gluten-free or can be made to suit. Please note there may be variations to the menu.

drinks

Drinks

W e are fully-licensed and our drinks list features a hand-picked selection of hard-to-find beers and wines sourced from boutique producers. Try an Italian IPA beer or become acquainted with Soave and Montepulciano.

If varieties and regions are not familiar to you, we can demystify the choices and help you discover something new to suit different tastes and occasions. Please note: We do not offer BYO.

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Gallery

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press

Press

  • 14/20 The Age Good Food Guide 2015

    There’s a soothing simplicity to a meal at Franco Choo’s. The homey vibe translates perfectly to the plate.

    14/20 The Age Good Food Guide 2015
  • The Australian

    They just don’t make ‘em like this any more.

    READ MORE…

    The Australian
  • The Age

    Rustic, raucous and packed to the rafters most nights, this tiny trattoria is dishing up honest, home-style food, warm hospitality and well-paced service. It’s snug but stylish informal dining.

    READ MORE…

    The Age
  • Broadsheet

    Doing things its way and gaining a loyal following…and it’s very reasonably priced. The wine list is a treat.

    READ MORE…

    Broadsheet
  • Gourmet Traveller

    Pint-sized with more than its fair share of home-style charm.

    Gourmet Traveller
  • The Herald Sun

    It is perfect for Melbourne autumn and winter, being cosy, friendly, wooden and rustic. Entering from the nearby busy Chapel St intersection, it is immediately intimate and welcoming.

    READ MORE…

    The Herald Sun
  • The Weekly Review

    A petite, charming bistro that transports diners from Melbourne’s hustle and bustle to a slower, gentler place. The brief menu manages to be diverse and interesting and there’s a fabulous Victorian-based, Italian-themed wine list.

    READ MORE…

    The Weekly Review
  • 3AW

    Having a small menu is anything but dull, it just means you have to change it up a bit, which is what Steven Choo does at least every fortnight, continuously evolving according to the season’s top produce and the chef’s own whims.

    READ MORE…

    3AW
  • 14/20 The Age Good Food Guide 2015

    There’s a soothing simplicity to a meal at Franco Choo’s. The homey vibe translates perfectly to the plate.

    14/20 The Age Good Food Guide 2015
  • The Australian

    They just don’t make ‘em like this any more.

    READ MORE…

    The Australian
  • The Age

    Rustic, raucous and packed to the rafters most nights, this tiny trattoria is dishing up honest, home-style food, warm hospitality and well-paced service. It’s snug but stylish informal dining.

    READ MORE…

    The Age
  • Broadsheet

    Doing things its way and gaining a loyal following…and it’s very reasonably priced. The wine list is a treat.

    READ MORE…

    Broadsheet
  • Gourmet Traveller

    Pint-sized with more than its fair share of home-style charm.

    Gourmet Traveller
  • The Herald Sun

    It is perfect for Melbourne autumn and winter, being cosy, friendly, wooden and rustic. Entering from the nearby busy Chapel St intersection, it is immediately intimate and welcoming.

    READ MORE…

    The Herald Sun
  • The Weekly Review

    A petite, charming bistro that transports diners from Melbourne’s hustle and bustle to a slower, gentler place. The brief menu manages to be diverse and interesting and there’s a fabulous Victorian-based, Italian-themed wine list.

    READ MORE…

    The Weekly Review
  • 3AW

    Having a small menu is anything but dull, it just means you have to change it up a bit, which is what Steven Choo does at least every fortnight, continuously evolving according to the season’s top produce and the chef’s own whims.

    READ MORE…

    3AW
functions-groups

Functions & Groups

Share a home-style dining experience with your friends, family or colleagues at Franco Choo’s. We can cater for small groups of 8-10 people, or the restaurant can be booked out for larger functions of up to 24 people.

S mall Groups
Due to the small nature of our restaurant, we are only able to cater for groups of up to 10 people. With all groups of 8 to 10 people we require that you partake in a set price menu including shared entrees. If you would like to book for a group, please call us directly and view our group booking policy.

P rivate Functions
We can accommodate up to 24 people for a traditional Mediterranean meal where the dishes are served banquet-style. Evocative of the Italian custom of sharing food with family and friends, feasting enhances the sense of occasion that brings a large group of people together around the table.

Our menu can be adapted for your event and our affordable options are accompanied by our unique wine list and selection of craft beer and aperitifs.

bookings

Bookings

Franco Choo’s is open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 6pm.

General Kitchen Hours
Tuesday-Thursday 6-9.30pm (last orders 9pm)
Friday-Saturday 6-10pm (last orders 9.30pm)
The kitchen may be closed earlier depending on patronage. Bookings recommended to avoid disappointment.

Reservation Policy
You can make a booking online for up to six people (click the link below) or alternatively give us a call. We do not take email bookings.

For groups of seven or more people, please call us directly. View our group booking policy.

Please ensure that the phone number you provide is correct and easily contactable if we need to reconfirm your booking. If we are unable to reach you, we may have to reallocate your table to our waiting list until we hear back from you.

Please note on Friday and Saturday nights, there is a minimum two course selection per person. We also have two sittings on these nights.

By making a booking, you agree with our reservation policy above.


Contact us